President Obama Permanently Establishes Presidential Innovation Fellows Program

August 17, 2015

6:00 pm

Back in 2012, President Obama’s administration launched the Presidential Innovation Fellows Program, a program created in partnership between the White House Office of Science and Technology (OSTP) and the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) that aimed to bring in innovators to help government agencies find new technology solutions to prevalent citizen issues. Today, the President signed an executive order making the Presidential Innovation Fellows Program a permanent initiative by the Federal government.

Since the program’s founding in 2012, 96 innovators have been selected across the country from both the private and public sectors, and spanning several industries/backgrounds – with Fellows coming from the likes Inc. 500 companies small nonprofit organizations. In September of last year, the 12-month program selected its most recent class of Fellows, bringing in 27 people to work alongside government agencies, executives, entrepreneurs, and technologists to discover the ways through which technology can improve the lives of Americans.

Additionally, the White House announced today the addition of 6 new Presidential Innovation Fellows:

  • Adam Bonnifield (Washington, DC): a digital strategist, developer and the co-founder of Spinnakr, a platform for making big data accessible and actionable.
  • Ross Dakin, (Palo Alto, CA): a software engineer who has created novel financial services at Upstart Network, cyber threat intelligence tools at BrightPoint Security, and same-day infrastructure at Deliv.
  • Luke Keller (Brooklyn, NY): a product designer and strategist who developed products to help educators introduce character development to their classrooms at Character Lab.
  • Kate McCall-Kiley (Kensington, MD): a designer specializing in human-centered design and social change who previously served on innovation teams at Booz Allen Hamilton, Capital One, and Design for America.
  • Josh Patterson (Columbia, SC): a data scientist and economist who most recently lead the development of big data systems at Accenture Technology Labs.
  • Alexandra Pelletier (Jamaica Plain, MA): a product manager who most recently served as the digital lead for the Innovation Acceleration Program at Boston Children’s Hospital.

In a Medium post created by the Administration today, previous Presidential Innovation Fellows share their experiences with the fellowship and what they’ve managed to accomplish. Currently, the White House is looking for new Presidential Innovation Fellows. If you’re interested, check out the application here.


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Ronald Barba was the previous managing editor of Tech.Co. His primary story interests include industry trends, consumer-facing apps/products, the startup lifestyle, business ethics, diversity in tech, and what-is-this-bullsh*t things. Aside from writing about startups and entrepreneurship, Ronald is interested in 'Doctor Who', Murakami, 'The Mindy Project', and fried chicken. He is currently based in New York because he mistakenly studied philosophy in college and is now a "writer". Tweet @RonaldPBarba.

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